This is a lovely late 19th century collectable.
It is a quirky letter opener - which takes the form of a lady's shoe.
It is made of olive wood and the top of the opener is decorated all over with tiny squares of wood - this forms the most intricate patterns - and the tiny wooden tile mosaic work is some of the tiniest that I have ever seen. This opener is a particularly fine example.
Dimensions: Length is 20 cm and the height is 2.5 cm.
Tunbridge Ware is a form of decoratively inlaid woodwork and it was often made at Tunbridge Wells in Kent in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The decoration consists of a mosaic of minute pieces of different coloured woods that often forms a pictorial vignette. Shaped rods and slivers of wood were first carefully glued together, then cut into many thin slices of identical pictorial veneer with a fine saw. Elaborately striped and feathered bandings for framing were pre-formed in a similar fashion.
Similar items were made at Sorrento in Italy.
I have take some close ups of the letter opener for your inspection, and of course more images could be supplied on request.
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